Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

random stripes and tapestry moves

for the first strip of “grass,” i decided to randomly stripe the warp. i pulled simultaneously from about 7 spools of my 8/4 cotton carpet yarn and wrapped them on the warping board. then, when i was holding the cross and sleying the reed, i randomly picked a color to sley. this process gives a sense of continuity to the random stripe since the same colors occur within every 7 warps, but allows enough variation to keep it from looking overly planned. i LOVE the result, but have to say that beaming the warp (wrapping the warp on the back beam) was a pretty tangled process.

about halfway in to my 8′ length on this warp, i decided to play around with some tapestry moves to create a little “flower patch.” to begin with, i pulled two colors of yarn in, one from each side, and wrapped them around each other before beating. then i open the next shed and take each yarn back out to their respective edges:

i also tinkered with three colors:

i really like the process, but because of the deadline i have for this project, i don’t think i’ll be doing much more of it. it takes much more time. pretty cool, though!

hemstitching and cleavage

for those paying attention, this post is a dead giveaway that i am blogging with old information… catching up with myself, as it were.

here is a great photo of shilo’s cleavage as she hemstiches the plaid sky in preparation to take it off the loom (i also hemstitch at the beginning of each piece, right after it goes on the loom):

for some reason, hemstiching in red is one of my favorite parts of the whole process… something compelling about how neatly it binds the edges. i like edges in general. i’d like to experiment with more edge and binding techniques, but for this project, since the edges will be hidden, there’s really no point.

why red? with the colors i use, the contrast appeals to me. it reminds me of blood, flowers, molten lava, berries, arteries. shocking and good and necessary.

plaid sky

i can only weave 2′ wide on my loom. most of my fairway is about 4′ wide, however, so for every section i need to weave two lengths that will be sewn together.

i’m making the second length of “sky” a plain weave plaid. it’s pretty easy to do — instead of measuring out one color of warp, i changed the color of the ends into random widths of stripes. then, when i weave in stripes of weft, viola! plaid.

stripey sky

getting some of the “sky” tee-off carpet woven. here it is on the loom:

i have three yarns wrapped on my shuttle, and i have three shuttles about that length. i’m alternating stripes randomly.

below is a close-up of plain weave and the measuring tape i pin to the side to keep track of how much length i’ve woven.

my fairway is going to be really, really big sampler

yes, i’ve been “gone” for quite a while… the super short version is that i have moved from utah to colorado. the move has taken up the bulk of my time since my last post, but i’m back on the loom and whipping carpets out once again.

i’ve decided this fairway, on one level, is best approached as a large sampler. i really like this idea… it brings to mind the samplers that women would produce for both decoration and practice, and it will also provide a somewhat linear example of weaving techniques as my fairway progresses from tee-off to hole.

in the sampler spirit, the first piece i weave has a one-color warp (all white) and will be woven in plain weave with a striped weft. below are some photos from warping the loom for this first bit of “sky” tee-off rug.

this is my hand holding the cross, which is the “X” i got from the warping board. the cross helps me keep the ends straight while i thread the reed.

i use a sley hook to pull each end through the reed, which, when i’m done with one bout (150 ends), looks like this:

you can see the next bout tied to the front beam, awaiting their turn. once the reed has been sleyed (sounds so medieval, no?), we have all the ends ready for threading the heddles. in the next photo, the sleyed ends are draped over the shafts, just kinda hanging out:

i’ll have to post a photo in the future of the rest of the warping process… never fear, i will have plenty of opportunity to take more pictures of it.

nothing more fun than warping a floor loom!

now, for the task i have to admit i’ve been slightly dreading: warping the loom.

it’s not rocket science to warp a loom (did i ever mention i was on a short list to be in a nuclear engineer for the navy?). there are simple steps, and if you follow them one by one, with patience and time to spend, you’ll have a warped loom, guaranteed.

1. tie your measured bouts to the breast beam
2. thread the reed
3. thread your heddles
4. tie on to the back apron rod
5. beam your warp
6. tie on to the front apron rod

simple, right? ha.

the good news is, i pretty much went through this process with no major screw ups. i didn’t double-thread any reeds or heddles, i lined my warp up pretty even on the loom, and ended up with a nice, even tension across the width. pretty sweet, really, when i consider how many times i had to re-warp a 6″ wide scarf i wove last winter. the only thing that i really need to tighten up is the time spent — i’ve calculated that i need to warp the loom 12 times in the next 6 weeks, so i’ve got to get it down to an art.

i think i can, i think i can, i think i can….

measuring the first warp

ok, i was sick for a week, then spent the past few days catching back up with things, but i’m back at the loom and ready to measure out my first warp.

the first part of my mini green that i’m going to weave is the 4′ x 4′ tee off area. my loom will only weave 2′ wide warps, so i’ll weave two 2′ x 4′ pieces and attach them to make the final 4′ x 4′ tee off space.

i’m going to measure my first 4′ length with all white warp. i’m not sure if the warp will get totally covered over by the weft, and don’t want to use up any good colors in the warp if that’s the case.

here’s the first bout of the first warp on the warping board:

measuring the first warp

measuring the first warp

i need 300 ends (strings) for my 2′ wide warp, but as i was winding and winding, i realized pretty quickly that the pegs on my warping board would only hold about 150 ends. it took me a dumb second to realize you could measure more than one bout for your warp (a “bout” is kinda like a “bundle”).

here’s another view, showing some of the little strings and knots used to help keep count and to make sure the bundle doesn’t fall apart once you take it off:

first bout on the warping board

first bout onthe warping board

at the very end, you can see the “cross” — that’s what i’ll hold in my hand when i transfer the ends to the loom (when i thread the reed, to be specific).

onward brave weaver….


there are lots of bits and things and gadgets weavers need, and they all have odd english- (as in, british-) sounding names like heddle, treadle, warp beam, raddle, sley hook, and so on. reminds me of woodworking (dado, kerf, mortise, rabbet, etc). i love it — makes you feel a part of an age-old tradition.

originally, i was going to weave a very, very nice carpet with linen warp (the warp is the part that is stretched on the loom) and wool weft (the weft is the part that you weave back and forth and is wrapped on the shuttle). however, a couple quick calculations made it clear that these quality, durable yarns would soon break the bank — the linen weft alone would, even with deep bulk discounts, cost more than buying all the weft AND warp in cotton. cotton doesn’t wear as well, but as the entire carpet will be glued down to pieces of plywood in the end, and since i’m only getting $2500 for the piece, i’m going to take my chances with cotton. the upside is that there are many more colors available in cotton, and it’s well known that i’m a color whore. given my aesthetic, i figure any wear and tear will, in the end, add to the charm of the hole.

here’s my first shipment of yarn — both the 8/4 carpet warp and thicker weft stuff for the shag areas — plus a couple 30″ stick shuttles:

first yarn shipment

first yarn shipment, plus a couple 30" stick shuttles

i bought a smallish warping board from three wishes fiber arts, and borrowed a larger board from joanne, a member of the mary meigs atwater weavers guild (mmawg). here’s the smaller board with the first guide string tied on (more in this later):

small schacht warping board

small schacht warping board w/2.4yd guide string tied on

i’m weaving this green on a 4-harness schacht baby wolf floor loom rented from the mmawg. it’s really cool —  folds up for easy storage and has wheels to help move it around. here’s the warping board clamped on to the loom, which gives me a good height for wrapping the yarn:

warping board clamped to loom

warping board clamped to loom

next: measuring the first warp out. wheehoo!

the original proposal

putting to the center of the earth
a 337 project miniature golf proposal
submitted by davina pallone, september 15, 2009

I love putting. My childhood summers were spent kicking around the putting greens on my grandparent’s small, 18 hole golf course in central Florida. Recently, I’ve played miniature golf as far east as St. Croix and as far west as Santa Cruz, as well as in between, online, and on Wii. I love fake grass, I love carpets and textiles, and I love interactive art — so when I heard about the 337 Project’s Mini Golf exhibition, there was no question that I became excited about the possibilities.

A recurring theme in my work is how we study and decipher nature using science and technology, but are taught to understand our place in relation to nature via cultural structures and mythologies. I create mythic representations of a domesticated nature with references to various scientific and cultural symbols—core samples, shrines, molecules, test tubes, totems, toys. The use of common, familiar materials and patterns means each piece feels as safe, warm and welcoming as a living room or favorite sweater.

Modern miniature golf is a beautiful intersection of nature and culture. The first known putting course, the Himalayas, was created outdoors in late 19th century Scotland as a socially acceptable golf outlet for women. Thereafter, this accessible sport took hold of the public’s imagination, growing into the fake-landscaped, themed and obstacled, fun-filled and friendly competition of skill we all know and love today.

Since 2003, I have been interested in the impact art can have when taken off the gallery walls and made interactive and accessible to the public. Indoor meadows, knotted tangles of interactive yarn, outdoor fences woven with the help of schoolchildren — any way to engage the viewer in a tactile experience with art removes the barrier of untouchability, encourages community and fosters the imagination in ways we can’t possibly measure.

My recent foray into the world of weaving has me excited to pull this age-old craft (which would be fully acceptable for the female putters in late-19th century Scotland) into a fine art interpretation of a modern pop culture sport. The theme of my hole will be the layers of our planet (sky, surface, soil, rock and molten core). The Jules Verne-inspired title pulls in a classic sci-fi reference from 1864, three years prior to the construction of the Himalayas putting green.

description of the proposed hole
“Putting to the Center of the Earth” will be an approximately 97ft2, curvilinear, par 6 mini golf hole with a smooth, hand-woven fairway surface that uses color and abstract obstacles to representationally transport the player from the “surface” (tee) to the “core” (green) of our planet.
Players begin their journey by teeing off on a blue “sky,” working their way along the figure 8-shaped, 4′ wide fairway past green “meadow,” brown “earth” and gray “rock,” ending up on the red “core” green. Each section’s color will blend into the next section.

Obstacles encountered along the way are sloped fairway areas, fake holes, grasses, a bridge, piles of dirt, stalagmites, fireballs, a sand pit and cave lake. The ball will travel through a fire cave immediately before hitting the green.

I’d love to have my hole labeled as no.8 in reference to its layout, although it is not imperative to realizing my vision or theme.

materials and construction
The hole will be constructed of modular, marine-grade plywood platforms with permanently affixed, hand-woven surfaces. A 4″, shag rug border will run the entire outer perimeter of the hole.

The fairway will be woven in sections on a table loom. Durable wool or wool/nylon blend rug yarns will be used for warp. Linen yarns will be used for weft. The resulting surface will be a flat twill and will stand up well to traffic. Any slight irregularities in the weave will add to the unpredictable play of the hole.
All obstacles will be made of fiber, wire, fabric, found objects and other miscellany. Taller obstacles may be removable for easy transport.

Thank you for the opportunity to propose a hole for the 337 Project Miniature golf exhibition. I look forward to your decision, and to playing the entire course in February!

complete weaving novice tackles super ambitious carpet

here’s the story:

lisa was very adamant that i submit a proposal to the 337 project’s artist designed miniature golf hole exhibition, as we’ve got quite the history of competing on mini golf courses all over the country. so, during a 2-week trip to texas in september 2009, i spent 2 days refining my idea and putting it down on paper.

and… i was one of the 18 artists selected!

my proposal? to weave the fairway of the hole.

easy, right? who cares that i’ve only, to date, woven about 6 feet of 6″ wide scarves and sample table runners. 100 square feet of putting green is the obvious next step.

mini golf proposal, take I

mini golf proposal, take I

my first proposal layout turned out to be really great — super cool, even — but i realized, after it was submitted, that it was 3 times too big. i, um, messed up my layout grid. ahem. lucky for me, the nice folks at the 337 project told me not to sweat it, as long as i promised to actually build a 100 square foot hole and not the behemoth i originally designed (above).

you’ll have to come to the opening june 2010 at the salt lake art center to see the final design. and stay tuned, i’m going to document the whole process on this blog!